SGI Representatives Attend Interfaith Conference in Cuba
From July 5-8, 2010, SGI-Mexico General Director Roberto Rios and SGI-Cuba General Director Joannet Delgado de la Guardia took part in the Sixth International Meeting on Socio-Religious Studies held by the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research (CIPS), an affiliate of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA), in Havana, Cuba.
Mr. Rios and Ms. Delgado attended the conference as representatives of the Buddhist faith and spoke about the Lotus Sutra and its relevancy for modern civilization, as well the philosophy and peace activities of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.
Some 150 religious scholars and academics from 13 countries attended the conference, the theme of which dealt with the multifaceted aspects of modern society and its influence on religion, values and hegemony. In particular, the conference attempted to address the role of religion in helping to create unity between people and civilizations within modern society where there is a diversity of values and cultures. Representatives from major religious traditions shared their views on the topic.
Mr. Rios spoke at a session on the conference's last day about the dignity of all life and the concept of dependent origination presented in Mr. Ikeda's 1993 Harvard University lecture, "Mahayana Buddhism and Twenty-first Century Civilization." Mr. Rios talked about how the philosophy and practice of Buddhism, upheld by the SGI in its promotion of an inner transformation, called "human revolution," is capable of breaking through egoism and nihilism. He stated it was Mr. Ikeda's view that religion should help people transcend their limitations.
Various participants expressed empathy for Mr. Ikeda's views, including Director of CIPS, María Isabel Domínguez, who said she believed it was possible to create a society where people respect the dignity of life and treasure harmony between human beings and nature, as Mr. Ikeda has espoused. Ms. Domínguez conveyed her appreciation for SGI activities that bring hope to many and which help people bring forth their unlimited potential.
[Adapted from an article in the July 17, 2010, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of SGI-Cuba]